Queensland Coroners Findings of Inquest into Presciption Opioid Deaths
Jul 5, 2018
The Coroners Court of Queensland recently published the findings of inquest into four prescription opioid deaths. The inquest considered the four deaths to be representative of a larger trend of increasing prescription opioid deaths in Queensland and elsewhere in Australia. The Coroner made a number of recommendations, many relating to the monitoring of prescription opioid use by prescribers like GPs or hospitals. The inquest also considered various measures to prevent "doctor shopping" and the inappropriate prescribing of opioids. The Coroner recommended the implementation of a real-time prescription monitoring system that would allow doctors and other health professionals to determine if a person was accessing other prescription opioids. There were a range of other recommendations including educating GPs, restricting the promotion of opioids to doctors, and pharmacists to consider strategies such as staged supply of prescription opioids where appropriate.